I met Sha on a writing site several years ago, and we hit it off immediately. She is a fellow Naval Veteran, and but for the span of time, we served on the same base in California. I love her writing. Her book teasers are so good, I can’t read them for fear they will creep into my own writing. Steamy sex, well-rounded characters, and fantastic plots, her stories take you away from your real life and immerse you into a world of love, great sex, and hot bodies.
Without further ado, I give you Sha Renée.
Hey, girl! Welcome and thank you for doing an interview with me. I want to jump right in and ask, is there anything you find particularly challenging in Romance writing as far as content?
Sex scenes. Romance writers need to decide if sex will be included in our stories. If so, will we write out the details or have a ‘fade to black’ scene? Personally, I prefer the oohs and ahs of a detailed sex scene. The next choice is a tough one – at least it was for me. When I first started writing, I was conflicted over which words to use when my characters talk about, think about or have sex.
I’m not a fan of the “P” word, the “D” word or the “C” words. An alternative is the use of euphemisms like “manhood” or “member”. What makes it more difficult for me is the fact that my story is in first person. In the middle of a hot scene, my MMC wouldn’t ask his lady to touch his member. It’s more likely he’d say, “I love it when you touch my c*ck like that.”
I have to write the way my characters speak to one another and how they process their own thoughts.
You are not alone. A lot of writers struggle with what to call body parts, especially the good parts. I don’t like the P word or the female C word either. What are you currently working on and what is it about?
The recently released Forbidden Kisses addresses the topic of fraternization – inappropriate relationships between seniors and their juniors within the military. Such relationships are prohibited because they can adversely affect the members and goals of the organization. In Forbidden Kisses, Layla and Ethan discover each other’s military status after sparks have already flown and feelings have already grown. With their careers on the line and the threat of disciplinary action, the lovers are forced to make one of life’s most difficult decisions.
The “No fraternization” rule can be hard to follow. Some of those officers in uniform are too hot to resist. When you write, do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I have to work from an outline. My stories unravel in my head from start to finish without any warning. And I don’t mean it unfolds… like when you come into a classroom and the instructor is writing the notes on the board as the students come in and take their seats. It appears in one beat, like when you come into the classroom and every inch of the chalkboard is already covered with writing. Once I notice the story on the chalkboard of my mind, I have to hurry to get it onto my laptop. I don’t rest until I have the complete outline written out. After that, I take a breath and I can fill in the details of the story at my leisure.
That’s a great idea! Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
Absolutely! We’ve all heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” But that’s exactly what a reader does when looking for their next fix. The cover is the first thing they see. It has to be good. It has to be eye-catching. The fonts have to be legible. Shopping for a book is supposed to be a fun experience (with the exception of buying textbooks for a college course… no wait, that was fun too). If a reader has to work too hard to read your title, figure out what the picture on the book is or understand the descriptive summary, there’s a good chance they will keep scrolling. I know I have. When I’m choosing a book, the ones with eye-catching covers and interesting titles are the ones I stop and look at. If the book cover is boring, I feel there’s a good chance the story is boring too. Our readers shouldn’t miss out on a great story, because of a poorly designed cover.
Nothing stops me faster than a good cover. If you stop me, you’ve got me looking inside to see the writing. What do you think of “trailers” for books, and will you create one for your work?
I think trailers are a great way to spread the word about an upcoming release. There are only so many ways you can say, “Hey my book is coming out next month!” People may become bored seeing the same teasers and posts over and over. But with a trailer, you can give your audience a mini show to watch… something that’s not too long and has great music and they may watch it a few times… possibly even share it. I’ve worked with my designer, Taylor Sullivan of Imagination Uncovered, to create a trailer for Forbidden Kisses, and I have to admit, I’ve watched it several times.
So have I. Because of your trailer, I’m working on the specifics on one for my story. What is your guilty pleasure?
Tiramisu, (which is Italian for “pick me up”, “cheer me up” or “lift me up”). Every once in a while, I treat myself to a serving… or two. But it’s not something I’d eat while I’m with a group of friends or when I go out. I like to enjoy my Tiramisu when I’m alone, maybe when everyone’s gone out and I have the house to myself. I put on some music, brew a cup of coffee and enjoy… slowly, savoring each bite.
That sound awesome! Thanks so much for stopping by. This was fun!
Sha Renée is a native New Yorker who left home at the age of 17 to join the US Navy. She now lives in New Jersey where she creates stories on the pages where duty, honor, and passion unite.
When she’s not writing, Sha enjoys listening to music while drinking either a cup of hot coffee or a glass of chilled wine. Some of life’s simple activities–such as walking through freshly fallen autumn leaves and watching bulldozers, diggers, and other construction vehicles–entertain her. Sha also has a passion for photography, meeting people, and connecting with her readers.
You can also subscribe to her newsletter for all the latest news on her upcoming publications, friend her on Facebook, follower her on Twitter, and be sure to stop by her blog. Would you like to hear some readings? Check her out on SoundCloud. She has a really great Amazon page too.
Click on the covers for a link: